A probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is now focusing on President Donald Trump’s son-in-law to determine whether his business interests affected White House policy, a report said Friday.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of federal investigators is examining whether senior presidential advisor Jared Kushner’s discussions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition affected policy in ways intended to benefit him or led to retaliation against foreign leaders who did not back his business interests, NBC News reported, citing witnesses and other people familiar with the investigation.
Shortly before the story was published, the Intercept online news website reported that Kushner’s real estate firm sought to secure an investment from the Qatari government for a financially distressed Manhattan property owned by Kushner Companies.
The ultimately futile April 2017 meeting came just one month before Qatar found itself in the thick of a bitter row with its Gulf neighbors. Kushner was critical to Trump’s backing of the Arab states at odds with Qatar, according to the Intercept.
The outlet reported that Kushner critically worked to undermine Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s attempts to bring the crisis to an end.
Kushner also met with Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in December 2016 at Trump Tower, according to NBC.
Qatari officials believe, according to NBC, that Kushner was central to coordinating the Saudi Arabia and UAE-led economic blockade imposed against Qatar.
Kushner divested himself from Kushner Companies before taking his White House post but did not remove his financial interests from the family company, NBC reported.
It is against U.S. law for a government official or someone being considered for a government advisory post to provide advice based on financial interests.